Vitamin C can help with prevent severe Covid-19 and speed recovery from infection, the study shows, scientists claim, should become standard treatment in hospitals.
A review of 12 clinical trials, due to be published in Life magazine this week, found that intravenous administration of the vitamin can improve blood oxygen levels, reduce inflammation, and reduce a patient’s hospital stay.
One study cited in the review conducted in Wuhan, Chinafound that vitamin C increased the recovery rate after symptomatic infection by 70 percent compared with placebo.
“For more critically ill patients, trials with intravenous doses of 6-24 g per day have shown positive benefits in terms of increased survival and reduced hospital stay, improved oxygenation or reduced inflammation,” said co-author Anitra Carr of the University of Otago, New Zealand. .
The researchers said that twenty oranges provide one gram of vitamin C, so these dose levels require supplementation.
Plasma vitamin C concentrations were very low in 70 to 80 percent of patients with Covid, a review showed, showing that they can benefit from a few grams of the vitamin to eliminate any deficiency.
But the study found that a short-term drip dose may not be long enough “to provide lasting benefits, as 15-25 percent of patients may return to a state of hypovitaminosis C [scurvy] after the termination of the intervention ”.
Dr. Marcela Vizcaychipi, co-author of the School of Medicine at Imperial College London, said it should be standard practice in every hospital to check vitamin C status in patients and an appropriate dose should be given to optimize recovery.
“We always need to ensure that basics such as electrolyte replacement, trace elements and vitamins, including vitamins C and D, are covered. This should be standard practice,” she said.
The review also suggested that vitamin C could help prevent the progression of Covid-19 into a serious illness.
One review study conducted in Shanghai, China, examined 110 patients with moderate Covid, of whom 55 received a dose of vitamin C depending on their weight, and the other half had standard care.
The study found that one-third fewer patients progressed to severe disease when they received the dose.
The review found that randomized controlled trials and retrospective cohort studies show that vitamin C “also supports positive results with Covid-19 in both the inpatient and outpatient settings, leading to a beneficial effect in patients with moderate symptoms.”
Professor Naveed Sattar, a professor of metabolic medicine at the University of Glasgow, said: “Experiments that consider adding vitamin C as a means of reducing complications due to Covid-19 are interesting, but none are definitive and have all the important limitations.
“Therefore, care must be taken in interpreting the current evidence.
“To truly prove the‘ vitamin C-Covid-19 hypothesis ’, a much larger, placebo-controlled trial with adequate potency is needed. Without this, current data should not deter practices away from interventions that operate or influence relevant guidelines.
A study published by King’s College London earlier this year found that taking vitamin C has no “preventive benefit” against Covid-19 infection.
An increase in vitamin D intake has also been proposed to protect against Covid-19. But a study published earlier this year by McGill University in Quebec, Canada, found no difference in vitamin levels between people infected with the virus and no.